USwitch says online sales to soar to 40bn

Online shopping will account for nearly 40% of all UK retail sales by 2020, according to figures released by uSwitch today.

The internet price comparison site predicts that online sales will reach £40bn this year – 15% of UK retail sales – and quadruple to £162bn by 2020. In 2002, online sales accounted for 2% of total retail spend.

Online sales reached £3.7bn in the four weeks to Christmas last year, a 50% increase on 2005. A uSwitch spokesman says results from Christmas are “telling”, with many retailers seeing their in-store profits fall while online sales “soared”.

According to research commissioned by uSwitch, 8 million UK households spend on average two hours a day shopping online. The study also suggests that the average household spends £980 a year on goods and services online, representing 10% of their annual shopping bill. According to uSwitch, the most popular products bought online are holidays, music and films.

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